Our livelihoods and the future of the building trades in PA are on the ballot this year

Joint Message Featured Image
Gary J. Masino Headshot



Bryan J. Bush Headshot



On November 8TH Make Your Voice Heard

Attention Local 19 members: our livelihoods are at stake, our retirement security is at stake, and everything we hold dear as workers is at stake. We are not exaggerating when we say that our freedom to join with our brothers and sisters for better wages and benefits, safety on the job, and a secure retirement face a real and probable threat of being erased if Doug Mastriano is elected governor this November.

Mastriano will reverse state labor law and pass so-called “right to work” legislation. His actions will strip us of the freedoms we enjoy as members of Local 19 and tip the balance of power in our political system even further toward the wealthy. We would stand to lose everything as we know it. That’s why it’s crucial that we put everything else aside and vote our jobs. Now is not the time for complacency.

Mastriano is dead set on making Pennsylvania a right-to-work state, gutting our union and the broader labor movement’s ability to organize new workers into good-paying union jobs. Nationally, workers in right-to-work states earn less and have fewer protections, on average, than their counterparts in states without these restrictive laws. We don’t want Pennsylvania to join this race to the bottom.

In contrast, Josh Shapiro has spent the better part of his career looking out for working people. As our state’s Attorney General, he’s gone after unscrupulous employers who have exploited their workers and stolen their wages. He’s played a leading role in fighting the opioid crisis and championing pro-worker policies.

Shapiro has made it clear he will veto any right-to-work legislation that lands on his desk. Like us, he understands the importance of growing a skilled workforce. He will invest in trade training programs and protect the union way of life by ensuring every Pennsylvanian who wants to join a union will have the right to join a union.

Josh Shapiro has visited with thousands of workers across the commonwealth and has heard what they need. He sees workers being misclassified and how corrupt contractors have gotten away with exploiting working people and defrauding the taxpayers. All the while, contractors who operate above board have a difficult time bidding on public projects such as schools and municipal buildings. Josh has said he will champion a responsible bidder law to look out for workers, good business owners, and the taxpayer.

The contrast between the candidates is stark and makes our choice as voters quite clear.

Your union has never been party based; we are issue driven and support candidates who stand up for good jobs, affordable healthcare, and retirement with dignity. Our union membership gives us access to these and other benefits – it’s the power of our collective strength. But destroying labor law as Mastriano wants to do will put all that in jeopardy. The decisions we make this election will be critical to the livelihoods of Local 19 members and everyone else who lives and works in Pennsylvania.

It’s why we must all vote for Local 19’s endorsed candidates during the General Election on November 8th. We must mobilize and cast our ballot to ensure that the candidate who has the backs of working people – Josh Shapiro – is elected governor. And anti-labor extremist Mastriano is sent packing. 

Let’s make sure not to take Election Day for granted. While that day is a paid day off for Local 19 members, it should not be considered a holiday, it is an important day of service that was bargained for and protected for decades. A paid Election Day was established so that first and foremost, Local 19 members were given plenty of time to vote in the general election, but second (which is just as important), so that Local 19 members can help get out the vote for candidates that will fight for them, their families, and all working people. 

Don’t be mistaken, the momentum is with working people, who are joining together for higher wages and respect on the job. This fall, we will all head to the polls and make our voices heard through our choices. And it’s vital that we are speaking to our family members and friends who vote in PA about what is at stake. We can’t let the wealthy few help extremist candidates like Mastriano bully their way into office. 

Now is the time to act, make no mistake Mastriano is a threat to our families and our very way of life. Register to vote before the Monday, Oct. 24 in-person and mail-in registration deadlines. Check your registration status. Request your absentee ballot and have a plan for getting to your local polling station on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Make it a family affair and ensure your whole family votes. Share information on the difference between the two candidates and why this election is so important with friends and neighbors.

Tell them what’s on the line for you and your family – your access to a strong union with all the benefits that come with membership. And this won’t just affect union members – this will negatively impact communities and millions of people, whether they are a union member or not. If Mastriano is elected, the impending anti-worker legislation and executive orders coming from Harrisburg will send a shockwave through the entire region whether you live in PA or not.

For Local 19 members, voting cannot be an option. Your voice and your vote are critical to the future of the trades and the labor movement. This November, we must cast our ballots to protect our union and our families. We must stop the wrecking ball headed for workers’ rights and decades of union victories and defend the future for Pennsylvania’s working families. On November 8th, we must secure our futures – we must vote for Josh Shapiro.

Where PA governor candidates stand on labor policies

Josh Shapiro Candidate Headshot

by Todd Farally

Josh Shapiro Candidate HeadshotIn case you hadn’t heard, there’s a race for governor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and it seems to be drawing some attention. But seriously, saying that this could be the most important race of the year for the state’s workers would be a monumental understatement.

The choice facing us on the ballot this November 8th is far more than a choice between “the lesser of two evils.”

We can choose a candidate who, as a State Representative and County Commissioner, supported issues that benefited workers in the construction and manufacturing industries. Someone who, as Attorney General, has not only fined construction companies that ripped off workers on publicly funded projects, but in some cases actually put them behind bars. Someone who has taken members of his own political party to task and worked to remove legislators who broke campaign finance laws. Someone who is tough on crime at all levels. That candidate is Josh Shapiro.

Then there’s Doug Mastriano.

In just a short time as State Senator, Mastriano has voted for multiple anti-worker bills in committee and on the floor of the Pennsylvania Senate. In fact, during his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination for governor, he said that “the union bosses will not call the shots in Pennsylvania anymore.” 

That line in no way reflects how things are in Harrisburg. If it was, we wouldn’t have any issues securing public sector work. This is a clear shot across the bow of organized labor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. That acceptance speech tells you everything you need to know.

That sort of language sends a clear message to union members across the state that as governor, Mastriano will not look out for the best interest of workers. In fact, he’s clearly stated that if elected, he will be coming for us and our livelihoods.

Shapiro, on the other hand, supports a worker’s right to organize and form unions because he knows that the best path to the middle class is through a union contract. He also listens to labor leaders on issues of policy to ensure prosperity for all who live and work in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

When it comes to policy, Josh Shapiro supports a strong Responsible Bidder Law, with strong apprentice language and labor standards, similar to one in New Jersey. This is essentially a Responsible Contractor Ordinance, but for all public work projects across Pennsylvania, not just where an ordinance is in place. This would dramatically level the playing field for qualified contractors like those who are signatory with Local 19.

Shapiro has also shown support for custom fabrication on public projects. This would place sheet metal shop hours under the prevailing wage, when currently that wage only pertains to work performed on the project site. Under the current model, contractors who don’t participate in a collective bargaining agreement can pay workers as low as the state minimum wage if they want to for all shop work on prevailing wage work. This is a loophole that’s needed to be filled for a long time, and many workers have been exploited because of it. 

This would level the playing field for contractors who pay their workers proper wages and standards, like those in Local 19. It would also raise the standard of living for tens of thousands of workers and their families across Pennsylvania, instead of going into the pockets of a few business owners. And finally, this would also increase tax revenue for the state, so that other investments in our communities can be made for the next generation.

These are just a couple reasons why your Local Union supports Josh Shapiro for Governor. He will work to ensure that working people have a fair shot at the American Dream and will back up his words with action, just like he always has his entire career.

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